Which Stories platform or disappearing video app do you prefer to use for your business? A few years ago the only option was Snapchat however since 2016, Instagram have added to the mix along with the latest addition of Facebook.

Stories provide an avenue for users to see and recognise a brand in a different light, in a way that is unique to the business. With the 24 hour disappearing feature, moments can be captured and stories can be told in an exciting and refreshing way.

So what are the differences between the three platforms and which one is right for your business?



Slightly more complicated that the other two networks, but used by all ages, Snapchat appeals more to a younger audience. Statistics show that Snapchat audiences are predominately Gen Z users, between the ages of 13-24 and they spend an average of 30 minutes per day on the social network.

For anyone that is trying to target the younger audience, Snapchat shouldn’t be dismissed as this generation have a lot of influence and are very engaged users.

Snapchat sees over 10 billion videos being watched every day, with 3.5 million snaps being produced on a daily basis. It has 187 millions daily users that open the app on average of 25 times per day.

Snapchat is all about being spontaneous and that’s why the younger generation love it! It’s snapped as it happens providing a showcase of real-life happenings which can be followed through into a whole social media campaign targeting the specific audience a business is trying to target.

And as with all social media platforms, there is the option of advertising. Snap ads are performing well. These are sponsored 10-second videos that appear in between Snaps to entice a user to swipe up and view a website or longer video.

The downside to Snapchat is the most recent update rolled out in January 2018 which has been scrutinized by its fans and has caused the biggest challenge. Feeds are split into two sections: friends and discover. This results in businesses no longer appearing in the feeds of follower’s personal friends which means less exposure. However the good news is that a business can still promote their services via Promoted Stories in the attempt to boost their stories and push them through to more people on the discover screen.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories gets its fair share of interaction too. Rolling up in second place, it has a large audience who check the platform for around 30 minutes every day to catch the disappearing videos.

Instagram has more than 500 million users – and 300 million of those watch stories daily. Similar to Snapchat, it tilts slightly towards the younger generations with 60% of users being under 30 however it does also appeal to the slightly older 30-49 year olds who make up for 1 third of the current users.

There are a lot of similarities between Snapchat and Instagram Stories, so much of the choice of platform comes down to personal preference and which age audience you are targeting.

Instagram Stories also offers face filters, the ability to add stickers or text and even GIFs.

Stories from people and businesses that a user follows show up at the top of their feed and are sorted algorithmically. It’s also possible to use the Discover tab to showcase branded and promoted stories which is featured content based on a users’ interests.

A distinct advantage for Instagram Stories over Snapchat is the ability to be able to add links direct to a Story which directs a user to an external URL which leads the way to directing more traffic and engagement. Before this feature was added, brands could only utilise the link in their profile bio to direct a user to a specific URL.

Creating a Story is not only easy, it’s extremely effective! One in five Stories shared generate a direct message from followers. Businesses can create engaging content, relevant to their audience and can keep users coming back for more by adding to their Stories on a regular basis and staying ahead of the trends in this way. Brands have built up communities and followings from this and allow users to feel part of their company culture.

Another great feature is that Story Highlights allows users to pin Stories to the top of their feed. These then do not disappear until they are unpinned meaning they can stay around for as long as they are needed. These are great for showcasing best performing Stories or latest products or promotions for your business.

Facebook Stories

Facebook Stories

As we all know, Facebook is the biggest social media platform out there and has a massive 1.4 billion daily active users!

Back in 2017, Facebook launched its Stories that replaced its similar feature Messenger Day.

Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories are very similar and have a lot in common including the placement of the Stories in news feeds and the camera to record them. For anyone that already uses Instagram, it’s a familiar feature which will make it easier for users to navigate however with it being so similar to Instagram, it’s not quite taken off as well as the other two platforms. However now is just the beginning and there is still time for Facebook to catch up.

Facebook has a large demographic and almost every age group is using it, from the Gen Z’s to their grandparents and as a result, some younger users think that Facebook is more for the ‘older generation’.

Facebook Stories may take time for the older users that do not currently use Snapchat or Instagram Stories to catch on or to realise the potential of its influence. But that will come in time and there is plenty of that. Brands can jump on board and harness Facebook Stories  becoming the leaders in the roll out. With improvements along the way, the feature will soon become more popular. It also isn’t restricted to Facebook as it allows cross promotion to Instagram which is always worth testing out.

The Stories function has given businesses a new chance to reconnect with users who don’t see business updates in their news feed.

The latest feature which will set Facebook apart from the other two platforms is the opportunity for Group Stories. This allows anyone attending an event to contribute to a story roll which is located on the event page and visible in the Stories feed. This will be a great feature to engage with customers and users in real-time and allow for bigger brand awareness.

There is much to consider when it comes to the disappearing video function among these social media platforms. Each have their own benefits which can be adapted to your business requirements.

Engagement is the key as with any social media effort and strategy & planning is definitely a must to produce effective marketing results.

Are you thinking about using Stories for your business? Not sure where to start? Get in touch with us here at South Coast Social, we’d love to guide you in the right direction for your brand.


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